03 december 2005
Dutch Carbo Group makes charcoal out of peanut shells
The Carbo Group is known for its invention of a carboniser, that produces charcoal in a clean (less smoke) and efficient (less heat) way. Clients from all over the world come shopping for the carboniser in Almelo. Carbo's ovens are already burning in Estland, Poland, France, China, Singapore, Namibia and South Africa.
In Ghana the oven doesn't burn wood, but coconut shells. And in Senegal a heap of peanut shells, with the size of three football-grounds, is waiting to be digested. Managing director Hajo Brandt: "It all comes to the same thing: making charcoal. That's the only thing we are good at."
Ships with the new oven are now on their way to Kaolack in Senegal, where a factory is being built next to a peanut oil plant. Hajo Brandt: "The trash of that plant is becoming a real problem. The heap of shells is so extensive that it slowly slides into the sea, which causes serious environmental damage."
Carbo Group works in joint ventures with local companies. In South Africa, Ghana and Senegal these activities have been subsidized by the Dutch Programme for Cooperation with Emerging Markets. Hajo Brandt: "These subsidies just assist in starting up the enterprise. But we are not in it for the short term. We aim at developing blooming businesses. But finding further financing is often quite a problem."
Finding the raw material will, at least in Senegal, not be a problem: the new oven can handle only twenty percent of the yearly production of peanut shells.
P+ Webtip: Carbo Group